tv The Stream Al Jazeera October 30, 2013 7:30pm-8:01pm EDT
>> hi. i am lisa fletcher. you are in the stream. is the republican party at war with its self over gay marriage? same-sex marriage is now legal in fourteen states. just before it came into effect for new jersey, republican governor chris christie quietly dropped his effort to stop those unions. now, some say his action or lack thereof shows a larger shift within the republican party on the issue of gay rights. earlier this year, the republican national committee voted unanimously to keep the
definition of "marriage" as between one man and one woman. so is the g.o.p. sticking with socially conservative values, or are there signals that it's tent is getting bigger? our digital producer is here. he is grabbing your life feedback. there was never a shortage of opinions about the g.o.p. and where it should stand on social issues. >> this is a very light-hearted issue with no divides. >> we tackle the easy stuff? >> using the hatch tag ajanstream. >> an antiquated from puff daddy, why should the perverts have extra special rights above others? maria from nyc says, i will say the g.o.p.'s defense of marriage initiatives is proof of how afraid they are of the lgbt community. a.j.d a.j.delgato. >> finally, dina says, stop
talking about social issues. it's more about the role and size of the government. >> that's the issues of concerns in the g.o.p. community. and, of course, we will get more sentiment rolling out throughout the show. >> the key, of course, in dina's tweet is in the g.o.p. community, precisely why we booked crannies for tonight's show? >> republicans talking about republican issues. how novel. >> here is liz mayer of go proud that promotes the republican party and gay rights. in our google plus hangout, tyler deton. the author of rule and ruin, the downfall of moderation and destruction of the republicaning party from ice en that you are to the tea party and gina lauden, credited as one of the founding members. nationwide tea party movement. thanks to all of you for joining us. so, liz, liberals have an idea
of what the republican party is. what's the republican take on what's going on right now inside the republican party? >> you would be shocked to know that within the republican party, there are probably about 5 different groups there that all have their idea about what the republican party is, too. and i think as rand paul said after the doma decision came down from the supreme court: that's a discussion that's going to be ongoing for quite awhile at this point. people need to debate that out fully. but i do think when you take a look at what's happening with polling, both nationally and at the state level, when you are looking at republicans, whether you are looking at libertarian republicans, younger evangelcals, mainstream conservatives, more establishment moderate republicans, you see a trend consistently throughout that. and that is that on this issue, you are finding that republicans of every stripe are becoming more supportive of same-sex marriage and the freedom to marry. i think that's what this is about. you read an interesting tweet about how this is to do with individual rights and individual liberties and freedom, and
fundamentally, i think the way that i look at this is somebody who is more of a libertarian republican is people need to have the freedom to enter into private contracts where there is not duress and you are talking about consenting adults and have though contracts upheld by states, and that's not something that's happening consistently across the country. so you do see a lot of republicans who have more of a tort of libertarian and, in some cases, tea party bent who i think are taking that view increasingly. >> that's driving a lot of the change. >> hey, gina, do you think that governor kristi's position on gay marriage is indicative of a larger shift going on within the republican party right now? >> i think there are bizarre shifts happening all over the place and on both sides, actually. the republicans and the democrats are having all sorts of strange shifts because i think what has happened with the uprising, not just of the tea party movement but, also, of the occupy movement is you are sort of seeing the we, the people,
react to the elite. the grassroots people out there living their lives have started to realize some of the ideas the elite have in washington, d.c. aren't really reflective or indicative of the things we elected these people who os sentencebly work for us do. and so i think it's kind of funny to watch it, a little bit amusing maybe when you look at the issues, perhaps, that the tea party espouses and the issues that, perhaps, the okccuy wall street focus espouse and that they have a lot more in common programs than they do with the upper echelon of their own party. >> can you define the difference for us between the republican elites and the average republican in terms of this issue? >> the republican elite are more worried about the what the poles say than programs the principles they were elected on. the other thing is happening on the other side as well. i don't see it's just a
republican problem. i see this as an elite versus we the people problem. for example, raising the debt ceiling again. your typical conservatives knows taking out a credit card is not the way to keep your credit in check. and most americans understand that simple fundamental principle. so those in washington, d.c., they republican or democrat telling us, you know, this is the way it has to be done, we are kind of starting to scratch our heads and say, i don't know if we are buying what they are selling any more. >> gina, communities are chiming in about what is a moderate republican and what's extreme. melanie says it has gone too far right. it's hard to keep supporting them but i don't want to support the democrats either. >> prosser gives an example of moderate, rand paul, ron paul, gory gaffer johnson. gran gam ling says this is driven by the religious right. it's the church that needs to evolve. henry on facebook says it isn't about marriage. it is the gay community want for
everyone to accept their lifestyle as normal. geoff >> i want to get you in this conversation. what is the modern moderate republican? a lot paint the tea party as extreme but a lot of republicans are leaving the party to join the tea party. what's the new normal now? >> moderate is a slippery term. it's easier to say what a conservative is rather than what a moderate is. a moderate is basically a practicing mma pragmatitist. actually it's how to get things done so much as articulating the way things ought to be. >> it's mentioned some republicans are leaning more toward the tea party. can moderate republicans get traction? >> a lot of this comes down to basic problems that we have with
our definitions. but sure. you still have a number of constituents ease in the careen party. if you are looking at gailing out the 2016 nominating contest, there is a reason that chris kristi's name continues to be mentioned in this. he is seen as being the more stereo typical sort of northeastern moderate republican but he has conservative stances. >> people are thinking of what is palatable. i don't know that they think it's authentic. >> that's a question and i think that's something if i were a christie advisors i would be concerned about. his great strength has been that sense that he is a real, authentic character in politics, somebody who is a truth teller in much the same way the john mckay we saul really from 2000 right through until when he really got into heated combat, and that maverick image too a knock. christie has been in that vein. authen at thisty is a concern in something that political candidates have to be careful to maintain. i think on this issue,
generally, if i am looking at what krissie has done, i think it's politically smart having regard not necessarily to where the republican party as a whole is right now, but with regard to where it's probably going to be in three years' time because the way that you are seeing the poles shift okay this, whether you are talking about moderates, conservatives, libertarians, tea party members, whether you are talking about socially conservative evangelicals, you are still seeing movement on this particular issue. it also, i think, was frankly a pragmatic move sitting where things were legally. it's hard to fault christie for this although all of these guys have to be careful as they are heading toward 2016 that they don't look like flipflopers. we saw what happened when when he nominated a candidate who did look like that in 2012. it didn't work out very well for us. >> tyler, you served as secretary of the new hampshire young republicans. no doubt you are entrenched in the party. but when you head to the ballot box, do you in some ways feel like you have to choose between who you are and what you
believe? i want to know what that is like for you. i want to get your answer right after the break. thank about it. for our viewers, would your vote change if you felt that you were forced to choose between ire politics and your personhood? we will be right back. week of coverage and live town-hall on america tonight nine eastern. only on al jazeera america. determining using some sort of subjective interpretation of their policy as to whether or not your particular report was
actually abusive, because if it doesn't contain language that specifically threatens you directly or is targeted towards you specifically, they may not consider it abuse. they may consider it offensive. and in that case they just recommend that you block that person. >> i don't want to minimise this, because i mean, there's some really horrible things that are on line, and it's not - it's not just twitter, what has happened through social media and the anonymity of the net is that you see websites, hate-filled websites targetting all sorts of groups, popping up. there has been a huge number of those that exist as well.
>> every morning from 6 to 10am al jazeera america brings you more us and global news than any other american news channel. find out what happened and what to expect. >> start every morning, every day, 6am to 10 eastern with al jazeera america. >> welcome back. we are talking about the republican party, gay marriage and whether the g.o.p. is at all softening on some social issues. tyler, before the break, i asked you what it was like for you as a gay republican to essentially choose between your political beliefs and who you are when you
step into the voting booth. >> well, like you said, i have chosen to be very active within the republican party and you can call me old-fashioned, but there is a core within the republican party under and it goes back to when we were founded. >> that's what gets me to inspire the republican party. i believe in individual freedom and small government. so, i have decided that the way for me to live my life and to reconcile all of my beliefs is to try to change the republican party to make it more what i would say is consistently conservative. i think this idea that took off in the '90s that the republican party needed to go after the rights of gay people, i think it was fundamentally flawed, and i don't think that it was over the real republican thing to do. so i think now the pendulum is swinging back and there is certainly a huge generational divide in this country on this issue. and the republican party is not immune to it. but whenever i look at all of the grassroots activists i know and especially tea party activists who i know, no matter
who they are, if they are under the age of 40 or if they are under the age of 30, they are generally supportive of the freedom to marry and of gay rights. i think this is a battle within the kraern republican party that will be over soon. it's a matter of when. it's no longer a question of if. >> tyler, you might be right because guerimmo says i will not be a part of a party who discriminates. fran sizsays i wouldn't vote for anyone who wouldn't respect my humanity. here is a facebook message. christie is not a true republican. he is a wolfe in sheep's clothing. republicans are still for natural common sense homosexuality. geoff, a listjeff, a listen? >> i feel my as far as is moving into the right direction. however, i think that social issues are such a hurdle for the g.o.p. that it's stopping them from moving and advancing their political agenda forward or
getting the younger people involved in the party because of their social issues. >> well, gina, when it comes to gay marriage, there is usually a slippery slope argument. right office if you legalize and normal eyes gay marriage t would lead to x, y, and zama z fears. what's the main concern within this part of the g.o.p. if you normal eyes gay marriage, what will it lead to? because you disagree with someone on one issue means you have to hate or fear them or not want them to be a part of your group to fight for something that's good. rick warren put it really well, there is a quote that says something like: you don't have to do away with your convictions to have compassion for somebody. we can still be compassionate. i think that there are two different things we are talking about here. when you are talking about redefining something, you have to first ask yourself: well, what is the definition? and if you talk about a conju
gal definition of marriage, that's different from the revisionist definition of marriage. ryan anderson puts it in his book: what is marriage? he talks about that. he says that, you know, religion is as diverse as christianity, islam and judaisjudaism. but if you are talking about the redefinition of marriage, as many here are today, which is you're right to love whoever you want to love, very few people disagree with somebody's right to love somebody. the question comes in: how do you write a law? how do you define that? do you say that any two people who love each other can be considered married? and then what do you say to the person who says, but we are three people and we love each other. why are you leaving us out of that equation? so these are where the questions get more complicated and harder to define and harder to write into law and make everybody feel good about it. >> that's why socies historicale referred to the con jugal definition of marriage. >> why marriage? why do you think that now more
than ever, the republican party, members of the republican party are open to this idea of gay marria marriage? >> it's an issue that's evolved. barack obama only came out in favor of gay marriage a relatively short time ago. i think this gets at a long-standing division in the republican party that tyler alluded to, about individual freedom. the republicans were better supporters of civil liabilities issues than democrats. it's only really with the introduction of the evangelical community that you actually start to get a move away from civil liberties in the first place and particular after 9-11. marriage has to do with social stability. these are two people who want to form a life-long partnership with all of the rights to which they are entitled equal rights, not special rights. they want to be stable members of their communities. who were the republicans to oppose that? i think there is a real division
here between looking at individuals and legalizing their personhood in a way that republicans are just people, americans generally have not, 20, 30 years ago. >> if the party shifts on gay marriage -- >> uh-huh. >> what does that mean for the parties in terms of the bigger picture? >> well, i think probably what it means when you are looking at the direction that polling has been moving here and the way that americans at studs have shafted this, hopefully what will this will means is thparty is in consistent step with where the american electorate is. i think the argument that many people who are supporters of the freedom to marry make is that in addition to that being the principled correct stanchion and the right one as a policy matter, it is politically useful because it enables us toss really do, i think, what we were talking about at the beginning when we were talking about, you know, the emphasis on economic issues and where grassroots americans are versus where some of the beltway establishment, for example, is. i think it maybe enables the
party to really drill down and focus much more on economic issues, limited government issues and areas where generally, america being a center right nation tends to agree more with the republican party and get rid of some of these things where maybe there is a sense, particularly in some states that we have been having a difficult time competing in recently that will we are a little bit out of step and we are a little bit behind the sometimes. you know, i think that's the hope that a lot of people have. i suspect that that probably is how that would play out. personally, i always say that the reason i think republicans should basically embrace the freedom to marry and champion that is not for political reasons. it is because it is consistent with republican vams and traditional liberty based conservative values but there are definitely political ramifications to this and i think, you know, positive, positive political outcomes. >> laura, chiming in here, it says, it kind of says a lot if the pope can widen his perspe perspective yet the g.o.p. refuses to try and matt says
they are the only ones possible to win which is why they should go back to the big-tent party. amy says orange county has been conservative since before i was born. the orange curtain moniker but younger voters are changing demographics. tyler, the g.o.p. used to be known as a big-tent party. do you think they are trying to get that objective to be the big-tent party especially now that we are a minority-majority program? >> i don't think everyone has that same prior to. i think there are a lot of fights going on within the gop right now between people who want to win elections and people who just want to say that they are pure or they are right. i think what liz was describing just a moment ago was this idea that the republican party has an opportunity for a win-win here the republican party used to be the party of consistent individual freedom and personal liberty. we can go back to our roots and by doing so, we can understand again that we should treat gay people just like we treat --
just like we treat straight people under the law. and at the same time, it's going to enhance our standing in the polls. so why not do the thing that is both the right thing to do and the politically smart thing to do? it reminds me of the fact that over across the pond, prime minister david cameron, the conservative leader there, he has a famous quote where he says he supports gay marriage, not in spite of the fact he is a conservative but because he is a conservative. the conservatives in the u.k. have done a great job of messaging this issue, both philosophically and politically. >> that's right. just to quickly jump in and respond to some of those twitter comments, i would add to that that, in fact, the party has been changing on this. this isn't just an issue of watching where the pope has been differing in terms of his tone. if you actually look at where the party is on this, you now have a substantial number of republican elected officials who are on record as supporting the freedom to marry. senator rob portman who was a tea party candidate in ohio in 2010, senator mark kirk, iliana
ross letanon from florida. i could go on and on. there are plenty and plenty of them >> both in elected office, former elected and candidates. so that's changing. and as far as the point about demographics and sort of gay americans being one of the demographics republicans should appeal to more, i would note actually that is one of the demographics where republicans did improve our standing between 2004 and 2008. you c you can see if you go to the website gay patriot. it has breakdowns on john mccain, who was more moderate on these issues actually did improve our standing. >> we will stop you right there. coming up, if the g.o.p. is fighting an internal' eternal war, how do they end it? we will continue that part of the conversation when we come back. stay with us.
>> i can no longer be a member of the republican party. make no mistake. i have not left the republican party. it left me. i cannot tolerate a political party that demeans texans based upon their sexual orientation, the color of their skin or their economic status. >> welcome back. we are talking about the republican party and its positions on social issues as some members are move to go take a more moderate stanchion. that was judge carlo key. he left the republican party a couple of weeks ago for the reasons he just highlighted. okay. gina, with people leaving the party like judge key, do you think it's possible for the g.o.p. to move forward with this current internal divide? >> you know, i think there is, as i mentioned before, internal divide in both parties. you look, for example, at governor brown pushing this situation where you have kids, elementary school age kids who can declare their gender
identity for a day and pick a bathroom and if some 15-year-old boy decides there is a cute girl that just went in the girl's locker room, he can follow her in there. i don't care whether you are gay, straight, female whatever. there is something a little bit wrong with that. so the thing that we have to realize is that these policies and this breakdown is really coming from the national level down to the grassroots, and that's where the real divide is. social issues don't exist exclusive of other issues. and so you take, for example, the issue of abortion. a very controversial issue. and no matter how you feel about it, you have to recognize the fact that taxpayers spend a million dollars a day funding abortions. now, that makes it immediately a fiscal issue, whether we want to c call it just a social issue or what. every single one of the so-called social issues has a high school fiscal impact. and so those of us who like smaller government, who like a government that's more in touch with the people, who like to deal with state governments and
local governments better than we like the feds taking over our lives might want to ask the question and, in fact, some of my gay friends have asked the question: do i really want the federal courts, the federal government, having a say in what i do in my private life? and some people, gay and straight, answer that "no ". this is the reason why civil societies tlourt history have defined conjugal marriage the way they have. to redefine it, it can be a little scary. we have to try to see the forest for the trees. >> looking at mid terms in 2014 and the major election it's candidates that really represent values that are consensus values within individual states. what that likes in alabama is going to look really different from what it looks like in california. that's going to look very different from new hampshire. tyler can tell you the way
people vote and the way people think in new hampshire is radically different than what we hear of in virg. i probably fit in better in new hampshire. there you go. i think it's a question of having appropriate candidate election and making sure those values are represented. you know, that is consistent, actually, with the way that the republican party generally does things. we are about keeping things as much as possible at the local level, state level, 10th amendment. those sorts of things. i think as long as we adhere to that, we can be successful and have a big tent and allow these debates to play out in a way that's going to be protective for the country. >> tyler, we asked our community, how should the republican party move forward to recruit younger voters? here is a response from mike. it's impossible. the party would the have to break away from corporate control. kids smell hypocracy. how does the gop go after the young mil inwhy y'amin he willi? >> i will go back at that what i said about the republican party need to go get back to roots.
this party was founded in slavery. this was a party that has built the interstate highway system. it ended the cold war. this is a part that used to believe social liberty and economic liberty went hand-in-hand. just as vigor rusly as low taxes and lower regulations. i don't think there is anything one bit scary about the idea that the republican party mighty involve on lgbt freedom. i think it's a really exciting thing. i think it's already happening. >> that's all of the time we have. thanks for our guests. great discussion tonight. as usual. until next time, raj and i will see you online.
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